Lewy Body Dementia


Last Updated February 20th, 2019

Lewy Body Dementia (LBD) – A neurodegenrative disorder

Lewy Body Dementia or LBD is a type of progressive neurodegenerative disorder caused by the deposition of a particular protein (called as Lewy body) in different parts of the brain. These deposits occur in the nerve cells of those parts of the brain which are responsible for cognitive and motor functions. As a result, thinking and movement are severely hampered.

Lewy bodies are chemically identified as clusters of alpha-synuclein proteins.  This disease is named after Frederich H. Lewy, who worked in Dr. Alois Alzheimer’s laboratory when he was trying to identify the cause behind Parkinson’s disease. In case of Parkinson’s disease, these Lewy bodies deposit in the area where they restrict the production of dopamine.

In the brain of a person suffering from LBD, these protein deposits are scattered throughout the brain, including the cerebral cortex region. Instead of limiting dopamine, these deposits deplete acetylcholine which results in drastic changes in perception and bodily movements.

 

Investigating the causes and risk factors

The exact cause of Lewy Body Dementia still eludes the scientific community. There are no conclusive studies which link the onset of this condition with an environmental or genetic predisposition.  The protein deposits which are associated with Parkinson’s are ones which cause Lewy Body Dementia. The only difference is the location of these deposits.  Individuals who have Lewy Body deposits also have plaques and tangles in the brain linked with Alzheimer’s disease.

Plaques and tangles are abnormal brain growths which are responsible for irreversibly damaging brain cells. These are also protein fragments and fibers, like Lewy bodies. As the disease progresses, these protein build-ups start spreading across the cerebral cortex, destroying nerve cells and causing significant memory loss. Lewy Body Dementia progresses in a similar. Hence, it is categorized as a progressive neurodegenerative disorder.

Studies indicate that the following attributes can be considered as risk factors for this disease.

  • Old age, usually above 60 years.
  • Being male.
  • Having a family history of dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Having tendencies of depression.

 

Signs which reveal the onset of Lewy Body Dementia

  • lewy body dementia neuronsThe first symptom of Lewy Body Dementia is impaired cognitive functions. The individual starts experiencing changes in thinking and perception. It could include trouble faced during driving and calculating distances and time. The person starts gradually performing poorly over his/her job.
  • LBD causes weakening of visuospatial functions. The affected individual keeps toggling between periods of alertness and confusion. He/she feels excessively sleepy.
  • Visual hallucinations are experienced by a majority of LBD affected people. They also show symptoms of REM sleep behavior disorder such as vivid and persistent dreaming and violent body movements during sleep.
  • The autonomic nervous system begins to malfunction causing difficulty in controlling involuntary body functions such as temperature and blood pressure control or bladder/ bowel functions.
  • Gradually the person starts experiencing tremors (uncontrolled shaking) of hands, a rigidity of muscles, and hunching of spine – the typical symptoms of Parkinson’s disease.
  • Memory loss begins at a later stage, unlike Alzheimer’s and is not as severe. The onset of depression is also observed in many patients.

 

Lewy Body Dementia diagnosis

Due to similarities in the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease and Lewy Body Dementia, LBD remains a largely misdiagnosed or under-diagnosed condition. These neurodegenerative diseases are typically detected by observing a progressive decline in cognitive and motor functions. The following conditions are tested to differentiate LBD from Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease:

Another unique feature which separates LBD from other related conditions is the sudden and rapid decline of cognition (within months), as opposed to Alzheimer’s.

Medical imaging techniques such as MRI, CT, and SPECT scans are used to detect the presence of Lewy bodies in the cerebral region of the brain, which confirm the onset of LBD.

 

Is there a cure for Lewy Body Dementia?

lewy body dementia movementUnfortunately, there are no known cures for this condition. Upon detection, the treatment protocol prescribed by the doctor would provide only symptomatic benefits. This is a life-limiting illness. Hence, it requires palliative care and management. Both, medications and proper caregiving, are required to manage the symptoms of the disease and provide the patient a considerable relief.

  • Traditional antipsychotic drugs such as haloperidol and thioridazine do more harm than benefit in case of LBD as these worsen the motor functions of the patient. These may also lead to drastic behavioral and cognitive changes hence care should be maintained while prescribing these to an LBD patient.
  • Depression is also a leading symptom of LBD, hence anti-depressants (SSRIs) may also help control behavioral changes. Additionally, cholinesterase inhibitors may also be prescribed.
  • Drugs to control REM sleep behavior disorder are also beneficial.
  • The more significant aspect of LBD treatment includes caregiving. The mental and physical function of an LBD individual is vastly impaired. Thus, they need specialized help in performing basis routine activities such as walking, bowel movements, communicating with others, etc.
  • Cognitive stimulation, occupational, and speech therapies are included in palliative treatment module.
  • They must be dealt with utmost patience and care. Early detection of this condition is imperative in determining the course of medications and care-giving modules.
  • Since there are major side-effects associated with antipsychotic medications, the non-pharmaceutical path is considered to be a better approach in handling this condition.

 

Is LBD preventable?

Since the cause of this disease is still unknown, there are no definite precautionary measures against this illness. It is important to remain alert for any visible symptoms of the disease. Hallucinations and REM sleep behavior disorders should be immediately addressed to. Early detection is the key to effective management of Lewy Body Dementia.

 

 

Facts

  • It is a fairly common neurodegenerative disease, affecting around 1.4 million individuals in the USA alone.
  • Anti-psychotic drugs may lead to NMS or neuro-malignant syndrome in LBD patients. This leads to kidney failure and death.

Facts

  • It is the second most common type of dementia.
  • 75% of all LBD patients will experience visual hallucinations at least once during the course of the disease. Hence, it is often misdiagnosed as a psychiatric disorder.

Facts

  • REM sleep behavior disorder associated with LBD causes affected individuals to flail, shout, kick, and punch during sleep.

Related Conditions

Want to live a healthy lifestyle?

Subscribe to free FactDr newsletters.

REVAMP YOUR

If you're enjoying our website, we promise you'll absolutely love our new posts. Be the first one to get a copy!

Get factually correct, actionable tips delivered straight to your inbox once a week.

I want the latest scoop on :

We hate spam too. We will never share your email address with anyone. If you change your mind later, you can unsubscribe with just one click

By clicking Subscribe, I agree to the FactDr Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of FactDr subscriptions at any time.

 

Dos and Don'ts

Dos
  • Exercises have proven to be beneficial in case of neurodegenerative disorders as these slow down the cognitive impairment.
  • It is also important that the affected individual exercises his/her mind through crosswords and games.
  • Removing clutter and noisy distractions will provide much ease to the patient.
Don'ts
  • Consume food stored in aluminum , since it is considered to be toxic to the brain. Eating food stored in aluminum cans or foils may trigger neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Speak fast when communicating with an LBD patient. It is important to speak slowly and clearly while maintaining eye contact. Use more of gestures and less of words.
  • Indulge in caffeine and day-time napping to ensure a restful night’s sleep.

 

 

 

Related Conditions

Trending Topics

diverticulitis diet
Diverticulitis diet: The right way to eat if you suffer from the disease Are you suffering from diverticultis but clueless about your diet ? Read this complete plan for diverticulitis diet…
passion fruit juice
Passion fruit: How one exotic fruit can help you fight infections and cancer! Passion fruit: Why does this exotic fruit have such an enticing name? And how can it protect you…
Maltitol: Things you must know about this artificial sweetener Sugar alcohols are produced by fruits and vegetables. Maltitol is an artificially produced sugar alcohol and is used…
Top 6 remedies to treat a razor burn at home Symptoms of razor burn include bumps on the skin, redness, and irritation of the skin. Find easy and…
The science behind daith piercing: Can it really cure migraine? Since the ear has several pressure points, it is believed that daith piercing activates the vagus nerve and…
Chromium Picolinate: An essential mineral supplement for faster weight loss Did you know that about 1.6 million deaths were directly linked to diabetes globally? How is it linked…
nature health benefits
Green Healing: The amazing health benefits of being in nature You have no idea what sitting in a closed room does to your body and mind.Can a stroll…
maltodextrin sugar
Maltodextrin: What are the hidden health benefits of this food additive? Maltodextrin is one of the few food additives that has been relatively deemed safe. Many experts now have…
CLA: A breakthrough weight loss supplement with minimal side effects Tried every weight loss supplement in the market with no substantial gain? Why not try CLA supplements, derived…
The real reason why you shouldn’t be eating ramen noodles Instant ramen noodles might be your go-to snack for your hunger pangs. But with each spoonful you are…
diabetes symptoms in women
FBS Test – Fasting Blood Sugar FBS or fasting blood sugar test is a blood test that is used to determine the level of…
rubella IgG test
Rubella IgG Test The rubella IgG test is a blood test that checks for the rubella virus IgG antibodies present in…
Vitamin K2: 8 reasons why you need this bone-building & cancer-fighting nutrient Vitamin K2 is claimed to be essential for your bone health, for reducing the risk of cancer, and…
ASTtest-liver
AST- Aspartate Aminotransferase Test AST test is a blood test that is used to measure the level of a particular liver enzyme…
Stye : The best natural home remedies to ease the pain Styes developing inside the eyelid tend to be more painful whereas external styes are less painful and ooze…
Juice Plus: Can you really replace actual fruits with pills?  Juice Plus supplements intend to fill nutritional gaps present in our daily diet. But how successful have they…
BRAT Diet: What is the right way to follow this diarrhea-relieving diet? BRAT diet, a simple diet consisting of just bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast, can help you combat the…
Piaget stages: Do they accurately describe the way the human brain develops?  A common assumption was that children are less competent thinkers as compared to adults, but this was refuted…
anti-thyroglobulin antibody
Anti-Thyroglobulin Antibody test Anti-thyrogloubin antibody test measures the level of antibodies that attack the thyroid gland cells and are hence indicative…
eating disorder anorexia
Eating Disorders: Lifestyle choice or a psychological condition? Is eating disorder just a harmless bad habit? Or does it represent grim psychological disorders? Do you want…
Colloidal silver benefits
Colloidal silver: An essential dietary supplement or yet another pharmaceutical hoax? Colloidal silver is hailed as an effective home remedy for infections. Many believe it can treat HIV and…
occupational hazards types
Occupational Hazards: How to vouch for your health at your workplace Occupational hazards affect millions worldwide. Chemical spills, faulty wires, deadly pathogen, and work-stress can happen anytime. Follow these…
yoga health benefits
How to practice yoga for astounding health benefits Can a 5000-year-old system be the ultimate body healer? Did you know yoga can make you smarter and…
TBHQ: A carcinogen lingering in your child’s favorite snacks TBHQ - Why you should shun the practice of eating instant noodles or microwave popcorn to get rid…
nutritional yeast bread
Nutritional Yeast : How can a fungi culture be good for your body? Nutritional yeast: How a simple culture of fungi can transform your skin, digestion, immunity , and much more.…
Silicon Dioxide: How can a component of sand be essential to your wellbeing? Silicon is one of the most abundant elements in the nature. Find out how silicon dioxide can prove…
Tamarind: The top health benefits of this staple Asian ingredient Did you know this sweet and sour pulpy fruit does more than just add a tangy flavor to…
Eustachian Tube : Functions and top home remedies to prevent its infection Pressure equalization, mucus drainage and protecting the middle ear from bacteria and viruses are the three important functions…
Poop chart: Top things you didn’t you your poop could reveal about you Bristol poop chart was designed during the 1990s in order to help doctors identify various types of poops…
Salt dangers
Sodium chloride: The wonders and dangers of the simple table salt Sodium chloride is a salt containing sodium and chlorine ions at a 1:1 ratio. It is edible and…
Lectin: The common link of proteins between peas and people Lectins are a type of protein that are found majorly in legumes. Most people are find it easy…
Chlorella: Therapeutic powers of the billion-year-old algae now within your reach Chlorella - A billion year old nutrient-rich algae that can potentially ward off cancers and high cholesterol; the…
How do neutrophils protect you from fatal bacterial attacks? During an infection, certain enzymes alert the mature neutrophils.  Neutrophils then travel through the bloodstream to the affected…
reflexology massage
Top reasons why you should go for a reflexology massage today Reflexology involves the application of pressure to your feet and hands to encourage self-healing. Could this be beneficial…
Jicama: A fiber-rich tuber for your weight loss goals Pronouced as HEE-kah-ma, Jicama is the "new kid on the block" that has taken the world by the…
liver detox facts
7 liver detox facts and why ignoring these could kill you! Are you taking care of this organ that handles over 500 different vital functions in your body? Your…
Milk Thistle skin
Milk Thistle: Find possible cures for fatal diseases in these purple blooms Milk thistle is well-known for treating liver conditions. However, did you know that it comes with a plethora…
hidden benefits walking
9 benefits of walking we bet you didn’t know! Did you know walking can be the miracle pill for eternal youth? Everyone knows walking is good for…
lifestyle diseases
The Big 5 lifestyle diseases: How your everyday living might be killing you You'd be shocked to know how unhealthy and potentially fatal your everyday routine could be. Has the modern…
sleep deprivation
Don’t let your sleep deficit grow into memory loss or heart attack Why is sleep important for us? How could sleep deprivation harm you? We bet you didn't know about…
low fodmap plan
Troubled with IBS? Here’s a complete roadmap to the low FODMAP diet Leaky & inflammatory gut troubling you? No medicine bringing you relief from the pain? Why not try the…
Hydroquinone: Is it the best topical treatment for hyperpigmentation? Darkening of the skin due to high melanin levels is called hyperpigmentation.  Hydroquinone interferes with melanin production thus treating…
Oxalates: How healthy greens can sometimes be bad news for your kidneys Oxalates are compounds present in a majority of healthy foods. However, at times an overconsumption of these could…
How accurate is the hair follicle drug test? Hair follicle drug test is one of the best ways to identify drug use in professional circles. But…
Urologist: When should you visit one and why? A urologist can treat not only genitourinary problems of both men and women but also can treat various…
bilirubin-test-result
Bilirubin Test Bilirubin is a substance produced in the body as a result of red blood cell breakdown. A bilirubin…
Helicobacter pylori IGA
Helicobacter Pylori – IgA Test The H.pylori IgA test is a blood test used to identify the level of IgA antigen in the…
Pescatarian Diet 101: What are the inherent health advantages of this diet? People opt to become a pescatarian in order to enrich their bodies with the essential health benefits that…
waterchestnut
Water Chestnuts: The tastiest ways to include this healthy tuber in your diet Water chestnut is not a nut after all. It is a tuber (much like the potatoes) growing close…
Mood swings
The real reasons for your mood swings and how to overcome them Are you prone to heated moods frequently? Do you also feel bouts of depressive feeling creeping up on…
What is the right way to take a pregnancy test? A pregnancy test is undertaken to determine if you have conceived. A home pregnancy test is the most…
Bubble Tea: Bubbling with nutrition or a hidden sugar mine? The tapioca pearls present in the tea looks like bubbles and hence the name bubble tea became popular.…
IGE test
IgE test – Immunoglobulin E IgE or immunoglobulin E test is a test that measures the level of IgE in the blood and…
CT-scan-machine
CT – Computed Tomography Scan CT scan or computed tomography scan is an diagnostic imaging technique where cross-sectional images of body are obtained…
dance health benefits
5 unbelievable effects of dance on your overall health! You enjoy dancing, but did you know what else it does to your body? Dancing is not only…
kefir bottle
Kefir: Top reasons why this probiotic drink should be consumed by you Yet another remarkable fermented food, kefir is a much healthier version of yogurt. These chewy white grains can…
Cordyceps: How the Caterpillar fungus works as a proven cancer-shield Strange as it may sound, but cordyceps or "caterpillar fungus", a fungus variety native to the Himalayas may…
How chlorophyll is more than just a green pigment meant for photosynthesis Cholorphyll - you must know the usual function of this chemical in plants. But did you know that…
Astaxanthin: Why experts believe it could be 550x more potent than vitamin E! What is astaxanthin and why is this new supplement on the block touted as the most powerful antioxidant…
Is bronchitis contagious? And how to prevent this infection? It is acute bronchitis that is contagious which means you can contract it from another person or you…
Balneotherapy jacuzzi
5 things you didn’t know about balneotherapy and how you can do it at home Sauna baths have been popular since a long time. But how much more beneficial can balneotherapy be as…
Max thalassemia profile
Max thalassemia Profile Max Thalassemia is the most severe form of Thalassemia where a person’s body is unable to produce the…
Exercises or diet? Find out the healthiest way to gain weight Tired of being called skinny all the time? Looking for healthy ways to beef up? Why not try…
Experts reveal the safest ways to perform an enema at home The idea of pushing some up your rectal area might make you queasy but an enema could actually…
Quinine: How gin and tonic came to be known as a potent health elixir The discovery of quinine-containing tree bark is sometimes considered the most serendipitous medical discovery of the 17th century.
Ear pain model
Easy and safe tips for ear wax removal you can do at home Cerumen impaction generally occurs when an external object like cotton swabs are used to remove the ear wax.…
CBC blood test
CBC (Hemogram 6-part diff) blood test CBC (Hemogram 6-part diff) blood test refers to the test that measures the number of RBCs, WBCs, etc…
hidden causes obesity
8 hidden causes of obesity you probably didn’t know! Did you know that around 2 billion people worldwide are either overweight or obese? Are you too a…
autoimmune diseases facts
Autoimmune Diseases: Find out if your body is attacking you right now Did you know your body can harm itself? What are autoimmune diseases and why does it harm some…
iron food shellfish
Iron-Rich Foods: Eat these foods to keep fatigue and anemia away! How to ensure a muscles as strong as iron? Eat iron rich foods ! Iron is one of…
Moringa drink
Moringa: This could be the most nutrient-dense food known to us! Moringa is a lush green tree brimming with over 90 essential nutrients required for a healthy mind and…
Lauric Acid: 8 health benefits you can derive from coconuts Appropriate use of saturated fats containing lauric acid can provide you numerous health benefits. This is the main…
Top natural diuretics: The instant benefits you can get from nature’s water pills Since diuretic drugs are known to cause side effects, it is better to choose a natural diuretic that…
Appendix pain: Recent findings on this not-so vestigial organ The exact function of the appendix is still not clear. Some consider it as an organ that once…
Nipah Virus epidemic
Is shingles contagious? If yes, then how can you prevent this infection? What is shingles? How is different from chicken pox? Do adults get shingles? How contagious is it? Find…
How to scrub away stress and fatigue with an Epsom salt bath? Epsom salt is a popular home remedy for many skin ailments. Though there is a lack of scientific…
Hot cups for detox? Read all about the ancient technique of cupping Did you know inverted hot cups on your back can squeeze out and eject toxins from your body?…
Krill Oil: Does the solution to human illnesses really lie at the depths of the ocean? The word "krill" means “small fry of fish” in Norwegian. They are usually the primary food source of…
arterial-blood-gas
Arterial Blood Gas Analysis Arterial blood gas analysis is a diagnostic procedure used to determine the volume of oxygen and carbon dioxide…
Chest X-Ray A chest x-ray is a diagnostic test that uses x-rays to visualize the structures inside your chest. It…
about mediterranean diet
Why you should be adopting a Mediterranean style of diet today Ever wondered why the Mediterranean diet is so healthy? One simple solution to lowering risk of several deadliest…
carrageenan seaweed
Carrageenan: How a simple seaweed extract could better your gut health & immunity Eat more ice cream to prevent cold and flu? –With carrageenan you get one simple seaweed extract that…
acne removal tips
Anatomy of acne: 7 instant steps to kiss those zits goodbye Blackheads, whiteheads, or pimples-call them what you may. Acne is never good news.Did you know some of the…
improve digestion weight loss
Power up your gut: 8 proven steps on how to improve your digestion Did you know you have a colony of bacteria in your gut that help you in digesting food?…
bananas exercise
10 health reasons why you should go “bananas” over bananas! Bananas:The world's most popular fruit comes with a host of unbelievable health benefits. Find out how you can…
ashwagandha brain
Ashwagandha: The best-kept secret of Ayurveda now revealed! Ashwagandha literally means "smell of horse". Don't get bogged down by that one tiny detail because this ayurveduic…
chia seeds weight loss
Chia seeds: How to consume this staple Aztec food to get a leaner body Chia seeds: What is the actual reason for its sudden popularity? Why are celebrities swearing by its amazing…
Garlic health benefits cloves
Garlic: Nature’s white pill as an effective home remedy What are the secrets hidden in these tiny white pills? Find out the immense health benefits of using…
stevia side effects
Stevia: A healthy sugar substitute or yet another risky additive? Stevia is a plant native to South America.  It has been used as a natural sugar substitute and…
Jackfruit: Slice your way into higher immunity, better digestion, & more… Native to the South East Asia, the jackfruit is a fruit brimming with thousands of health benefits. Discover…
Ezekiel Bread: How to make the “world’s healthiest bread” in your own kitchen Learn more about Ezekiel bread - a bread belonging to the biblical time and containing the secrets to…
The right way to prepare Alfalfa sprouts at home Alfalfa or lusan ghas is not just a nutritious animal fodder. This flavonoid-rich herb has some amazing health…
Trisodium Phosphate: How a paint thinner made its way into your breakfast Ever thought how toxic chemicals find their way into our foods? How can they harm our body? And…
Love tea, hate tannins? Rooibos tea is just what you need The market is brimming with a multitude of herbal teas. But what makes rooibos tea (or red bush)…
How can Kegels help you overcome weak pelvic muscles & incontinence? Kegel exercises are pelvic floor strengthening exercises that can help you overcome incontinence issues that rise out of…
What to eat, what not to eat in the South Beach Diet? The South Beach Diet is one among the most popular weight loss programs that have been the talk…
GERD heartburn
Heartburn: What are the exact symptoms and the best home remedies? There are easy home remedies for heartburn, which not only acts as a first aid when you experience…
The Vegan Diet: The benevolent way of eating that wins hearts (and tummies) The vegan diet involves fauna-friendly outlook towards food. Could the diet that hopes to balance everything based on…
TRX: Why is this total resistance workout the best choice for your body? TRX or total resistance exercise is a form of exercise where suspension belts are used to produce that…
PiYo (Pilates + Yoga): Bringing you the best of both the worlds PiYo exercise routine was formulated for people who find it tedious and grueling exercise regimens such as extensive…
These are the top foods to increase your hemoglobin count It is important to add iron-rich foods into your diet in order to increase hemoglobin. Deficiency of hemoglobin could…
liver cleanse detox
14 go-to foods that are best for a complete natural liver detox Liver cleanse can be achieved by just choosing or avoiding certain types of food. Liver itself is a detoxifying…
Bronchoscopy procedure
Bronchoscopy Bronchoscopy is a procedure where in a scope is inserted into the lung pathway to observe any growth…
dengue-test
Dengue NS1 test Dengue NS1 is a blood test used to determine the onset of dengue fever. Dengue fever is transmitted…
fitness routine fun
10 fantastic ways to make your fitness routine more fun! Are you too bored to exercise? Do you avoid gym cause it's too monotonous? Looking for fun and…